In honor of the two-year anniversary of President Obama’s signing of the executive order reestablishing the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the Initiative released this Guide to Federal Agency Resources, an easy-to-use navigational tool on federal funding and programs. Within this guide, individuals and organizations can find such information as grant opportunities, loan programs to help start a business, federal resources for food and housing for low-income individuals, and health-care programs for veterans and their families.
Over the last two years, the Initiative engaged with thousands of diverse stakeholders in cities and towns across the country on how the federal agencies may better meet the needs of the growing Asian American and Pacific Islander population. Of all the issues that were raised—from the need to collect and analyze data across ethnic subgroups, to disparities in educational attainment and health outcomes—one issue emerged time and time again: the need to help build the capacity of community-based organizations, coupled with the general lack of awareness of what services and resources the federal government offers to improve their quality of life. During these conversations with community members, the seeds of this Guide to Federal Agency Resources were planted.
This guide includes 10 Grantee Spotlights, featuring organizations and individuals who have successfully navigated the federal grant application process and can offer advice, by example, to prospective applicants. Here is what some had to say:
“As a small grassroots organization with little experience in applying for federal grants and limited knowledge of the technical language used in grant applications, the process was a bit scary at first … My advice for those interested in this program is to seek out support and guidance from the community and local decision makers.”—EPA Grantee, Seattle, Wash., September, 2011.
“Don’t be discouraged and keep on writing. If you are not successful, try again!”— DOJ, Office of Violence Against Women Grantee, Des Moines, Iowa, September 2011.
We hope this guide provides individuals and organizations with a starting point and ideas on how to access federal resources available to help improve the quality of life of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the country.
Miya Saika Chen is a Senior Advisor for the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.